If you carry a gun, you most likely put the gun in a holster and attach the holster in some manner to your person. In most cases that manner is a belt. Carry concealed, open carry, or an external gun belt [duty belt, battle belt, war belt, or whatever you wish to call it]. The belt itself is the foundation all your gear is built upon.
(The four belts on the left are dress belts not intended as gun belts, the next three are thick leather and the last two on the right are heavy nylon scuba type belts)
As with any house, if you have a poor foundation, the house will settle and walls will shift and break, the roof will not sit right and things will begin to leak. The same can be said for your gun belt.
Gun belts can be made of many materials, leather, horsehide, and synthetics such as nylon webbing or scuba webbing. For the majority of our discussion, we will be talking about belts for carrying, not a large war belt or duty style belt.
Your belt should be sturdy and firm. The belt should have a solid attachment to keep it closed and adjusted to the proper fit. A good belt should be thick enough to be stiff, the ideal stiffness would be when the belt is held out [closed] parallel to the ground it stays close to parallel. The stiffer the belt is the better it holds up the gear and ensures the gear stays put where you need it.
Standard dress belts and belts you buy to keep your pants held up are generally not a good option for concealed carry. If you carry a gun and fighting gear all day, you will appreciate a good belt for the support it can give. A loose weak belt will cause you to discomfort after a few hours. A poorly selected belt can lead to not just discomfort, but worse it could fail and you could lose gear or have it come off you in a tussle.
A proper belt should be capable of holding your weight without fail. Look at the hardware, are there buckles, snaps, or other features that would come apart should you get lifted into the air by your belt?
Is the belt width wide enough to hold and support your gear without it twisting or it tipping away from your body? Some gun belts are stiffened with a nylon or metal stiffener sewn between the layers of the belt. Some belts are made of two or more layers of leather sewn together with the grain of the leather at different angles to add stiffness.
Some folks like to color match the belt to the holster and the rest of their gear, nothing wrong with this so long as the belt is a quality belt. A reputable source can be holster makers and other purpose-built belts to be used for the carrying of a firearm.
If you seek assistance with a particular system or product, the instructors at Raven One Five or RATH-Defense would be glad to assist you.
One of the best things you can do is seek and attend proper training. Repetition and practice will ensure you are confident in your selection and skills.
Copyright Raven One-Five, LLC, 2020